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Man shot, killed at airport; one arrested

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Traffic was light outside the passenger terminal at Pitt Greenville Airport after a Sunday morning shooting killed one man.

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The Daily Reflector

Sunday, December 16, 2018

A Grimesland man shot and killed another man outside the Pitt-Greenville Airport early Sunday as the victim was arriving to depart on a 7 a.m. flight, authorities said.

Joseph Pate, 52, of Beaufort County died on the scene, according to the Greenville Police Department. John Reid, 49, of 2496 Pulmosa Drive, Grimesland, was taken into custody shortly after the incident. 

The shooting forced officials to cancel the 7 a.m. and 11 a.m. flights out of the airport. Police said in a news release that the two men knew each other but have offered no other information about what might have led to the shooting.

Officers responded about 6 a.m. to a report of shots fired outside the main entrance to the airport terminal, a news release said. Upon arrival, officers located Pate suffering from gunshot wounds.

Major Crimes Unit detectives responded and are still investigating the incident, the news release said. Reid, 49, was charged with first-degree murder and was being held in the Pitt County Detention Center under no bond.

Airport director Betty Stansbury reported that Pate was planning to depart on the 7 a.m. American Airlines flight before he was fatally shot in front of the terminal building. 

The airport resumed normal operations after 11 a.m. The next scheduled American Airlines arrival was at 5:20 p.m., and the next departure was at 5:46 p.m.

Two people were in the terminal about 5 p.m. on Sunday. Neither wished to comment. Later arrivals were scheduled at 7:07 p.m. and 11:19 p.m.

The 11 a.m. flight was canceled out of caution for the safety of airport customers and staff, police said.

The Greenville Police Department is the lead agency in the investigation and has been working closely with the Pitt County Sheriff’s Office and Pitt-Greenville Airport management and staff.

The department offered no further information following a 9 a.m. news release.

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